What to Do When You Want to Change Your Host Family

What to Do When You Want to Change Your Host Family

Things not going well with your host family?

Luckily, you’re not the only one who is feeling this! Before becoming an au pair I didn’t realize how many people change their host family. I knew there were the stories of the horrible families, but I just assumed they were stuck unless they went home. But it turns out you can change your host family!

This may depend on the country and your nationality, but it actually seems pretty easy! So what do you do when you want to change your host family?

Give it Time

If you just arrived, I would say give it time. Maybe you and the family need time to adjust and it just needs time. But after three months things still don’t feel right then it’s time to move on.

Talk to Your Host Family

If you are having a rocky start, you can also try to talk to your host family about how you are feeling. If you don’t say anything they will never know there is a problem. You may feel awkward saying anything, but it may make all the difference if you do!

Stay an Au Pair or Go Home

Now, you’ve given it time and even tried talking to your host family but things are still not good. So now you need to make the decision if you want to stay an au pair or to go home. Maybe being an au pair is not right for you and that’s okay! You need to do what is right for you!

Do Your Research

In Finland you can change a family pretty easily. Your new family will just need to go to the tax office and let them know. But this can be different for each country. Please research or talk to others who have made a change to make sure what you are doing is legal! If you want to go to a different country you may need to apply for a different visa depending on how long you are staying, so this is something you need to keep in mind.

Start Your Search

There are different websites you can find families. I personally like Au Pair World. It is super easy to search families and message them! When you are finding a family make sure you ask a lot of questions so you will get a better fit.

Inform Your Host Family

I think giving your host family at least a months notice is considerate so they can find a new au pair. This may be hard and awkward to do, but there is no need staying in a situation you are not happy in!

If you are not happy with your host family, I hope you will find a better fit!

Have you changed your host family? What did you do to change?

 

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4 Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

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4 Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Reading about people finding themselves is one of my favorite types of books. I think your 20’s is basically trying to figure out who you are and what the heck is going on, and the authors of travel books share their own experiences with it. Like Eat, Pray, Love and Wild, or my favorite The Alchemist. All these books have characters that are searching for themselves and I think we all go through that.

Today I’m sharing four travel books that will give you wanderlust!

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

 

Watching her friends settle down and start families, but not ready to do the same herself, Kristin sets off on trips around the world. Mostly by herself on these trips, she shares her stories of travels where she meets and even sometimes falls for the locals.

 

 

 

 

A Year Without Makeup by Stephanie Yoder

 

Fed up with the 9-5 lifestyle she was living, Stephanie quit her job to backpack around Asia. In her book, Stephanie tells her crazy adventures and also gives advice for others wanting to make the change.

 

 

 

 

A Thousand New Beginnings by Kristin Addis

 

This is a story of a girl who left her job and boyfriend behind to travel Southeast Asia. The book includes excerpts from her diary and blog during her travels alone and how it made all the difference in the world.

 

 

 

 

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman

 

When good girl Rachel on a whim buys a plane ticket to Ireland, by herself, she didn’t realize the trip she was about to take and what she will learn about herself.

 

 

 

 

What are your favorite travel books?

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Travel Picture Backgrounds

Travel Picture Backgrounds

 

I always love opening up my computer or phone to see a beautiful picture of a place I’ve been or is on my list. If there is an inspiring quote that goes along, then even better! I think I always need some motivation to stay on track. A couple of weeks ago I started creating my own phone and computer backgrounds with pictures I’ve taken and free ones on the internet. I wanted to share some that I’ve created with you today, so I hope you enjoy!

Click on the link below the picture to download! Make sure you are a subscriber before you download!

 

Travel Picture Backgrounds

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I took this picture at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and still love it today! One of my friends wanted to see the sun set here and I’m so glad she did. It was an unforgettable experience!

 

Travel Backgrounds

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So I fully realize this one isn’t “travel related” but it’s currently my laptop background and I love it! Just a reminder that you are a Girl Boss.

Travel Picture Backgrounds

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This is from a trip to Colorado! When my friends and myself came across this animal, we first thought it was a moose! Turns out is was just an elk 😉

 

If you enjoy these please let me know and I will keep creating and posting them!

 

 

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Free Trip Planning Guide!

 

Free Trip Planning Guide

 

Never know where to start when you’re planning a trip? This is me all the time! I always feel like I waste so much time when I’m traveling because I didn’t plan ahead. After many of these trips, I decided to make a planning guide to help me make the most out of them!

In my planning guide you will be able to plan how you will get to and from your destination to your day-to-day activities! You will also have a place to plan all of your “must-sees” and places you want to eat.

Click below to subscribe and have access the download!

Let me know what you think 🙂

 

Free Trip Planning Guide

 

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DIY Coconut Face Moisturizer with Vitamin C and E

DIY Coconut Oil Face Moisturizer with Vitamin C and E

Hope everyone is having a great week! Maybe some of you can relate, but all of my life I have dealt with oily skin that breaks out super easily. This has always been a huge annoyance in my life. I am always diligent with washing  my face twice a day, trying to drink enough water, and (for the most part) eat well to keep the pimples away. But still they will appear!

I have played around a little with coconut oil on my face using it as a pre-fashwash. Now after seeing many people using oils as their primary moisturizer I decided to give it a try. I chose coconut oil because it is the most convenient to find here in Finland. I have read that it can clog pours, but I haven’t had any issues yet! Coconut oil also has so many benefits! So you can use what you buy for so much more. Here is how I made my own coconut oil face moisturizer with vitamin C and E!

Things You Will Need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Vitamin E capsule
  • Vitamin C crystals/tablet half a tablet or 1 teaspoon (use less if you have never used vitamin c on your face before)
  • Jar or container

Seriously this is all you need! All of these supplies will last you so long too!

Instructions:

  1. Depending on how big your container is, melt enough coconut oil to fill it. I used an old moisturizer container and I used about two spoonfuls.
  2. Break open a vitamin E capsule and stir in.
  3. You can do this two ways: melt the vitamin C into the coconut oil or into water first and then add it to the coconut oil. I did it the second way and I wish I would have done it the first way because I feel like I lost some of the vitamin C.
  4. Pour mixture into your container.

That’s it! Seriously it can’t get easier! You can also add one to two drops of tea tree oil to help clear skin. I think I’m going to add this next time!

I have seen such a change in my skin since I have been using this! If you notice your face still breaking out, you may try a different carrier oil because not all skins react the same way. Let me know what you use or how this works for you!

What is your favorite DIY skin care?

XX Chynna

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25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years

Today at 1pm EST I will officially be 25! Time has seriously flown by and it doesn’t seem real that I am actually 25. When I was younger, as some of you may relate, 25 felt so old and I pictured that my life would be completely different from it actually is now. But I wouldn’t change it. I’ve been lucky in my life that I had the chance to go to college and also travel. So to any of you who are also 25 who may relate or maybe younger and looking to see what 25 will be like, here are…

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

1. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do

Too many times we will agree to things that we really don’t want to do. While, yes, sometimes we do have to do things we don’t want to because it’s necessary (aka go to work), it is okay to say no sometimes.

2. Be spontaneous sometimes

So you usually wouldn’t go rock climbing with a friend or go on that weekend trip to ski, but sometimes it’s good to be spontaneous and do things out of your comfort zone. You never know, you may find something you love.

3. Buy that plane ticket

The Dali Lama says we should go somewhere we haven’t been every year. I truly believe this. Traveling exposes you to so many things and you can learn so much from it.

4. But also save when you can

Save whatever you can. Even if it’s just $5 a week, save it.

5. Be a good friend

This year specifically has been a year to show me how to be a good friend and how my definition of a good friend can be different to someone else.

6. Learn how to be a good listener

Sometimes your comments aren’t needed, but just a listening ear.

7. Make the most out of your days

Wake up earlier than you usually do and get into a routine. Make a to-do list for the week and set goals for the month and year.

8. But also take it easy sometimes

Know when you need to take a break.

9. Continually grow

Grow emotionally, intellectually, etc. Just as things go bad if they stay stagnant, so do humans.

10. Donate

Whether that be money, time, or things donate and give back in any way you can.

11. Find something your passionate about

I find this really important for happiness and feeling fulfilled.

12. Money comes and goes

Especially in your 20s I think it’s so easy to stress over money. But I’ve learned that money will come and go so don’t make this a huge stress in your life.

13. Create your own definition of success

Society will tell you it’s definition of success, but it’s our job to decide if it’s ours too. It doesn’t have to be. If your definition of success is living in a tiny home that’s off the grid and you grow your own food, then go for it!

14. Read

The newspaper, articles, small books, big books, whatever it may be read!

15. Everything always works out in the end

It never fails whatever I was stressing about always works out and a week later it’s not even a thought anymore. And if life doesn’t seem to be working out, well it’s not the end.

16. Take care of your body

You only get one, so make sure you take care of it.

17. You can eat that extra slice of pizza

While yes follow #16, I think eating that pizza or ice-cream is good for you too.

18. Don’t settle

Whether that be with a job, an apartment, or in your relationship. Don’t settle because we both know you won’t be happy in the end.

19. No one else can make you happy

If you’re not happy, don’t expect other people to do it for you.

20. Don’t get too attached to material things

At the end of our lives the cars, clothes, and houses will all mean nothing. The experiences and relationships will mean the most to us.

21. It’s okay to be wrong

We make mistakes because we are human. That’s okay, just be honest about it.

22. Learn how to say sorry

This goes along with #21. Say sorry and mean it!

23. Learn how to forgive

I think this is a hard thing to do. It’s an easy thing to say we did, but another to actually do. I once read in a book that once the author forgives someone, even if they don’t ask for it, to think positive things about that person if you feel yourself thinking negative things.

24. Change can be good

It may feel weird or even horrible in the moment, but that change could be the best thing for you at that moment.

25. Be the change you want to see in the world

So many times I see people post about things they don’t like or horrible things that happen. Be that change not just the person who posts about it!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you can take something away from it! I would love to hear your thoughts.

XX Chynna

 

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A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Julie

A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Julie

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂

This weeks au pair is Julie from France! She is a chemistry student who is taking a year off from school to be an au pair and also do research. Before she came here she was in Iceland and then after au pairing she will head to South America to study coconuts. So cool right?! She au pairs for a family in Finland with four boys. Here is her experience:

What is your daily life like?

I usually wake up at 7am to help the youngest get ready, bring him clothes and make sure he brushes his hair and teeth. I then have to make sure all the boys make it to the taxi on time to get to school. I then have free time during the day when the boys are at school.

During my free time I will clean, do the laundry, and dishes. I will also prepare hot meal for when the boys get home. After all that, I can do whatever I want.

When the first boy comes home, usually the youngest, I will help him with his homework if it is English or math. After that we usually play outside or do an activity inside, like make decorations for Halloween.

The parents usually get home around 5pm, so I am done for the day. I will usually still play with the kids though since there is always something going on.

At 6pm is night snack and then the boys go to bed at 7:30pm.

On Saturdays it is a special day, candy day, where we can watch movies and eat candy!

What is included in your contract?

  • Monthly pay
  • Can use the car (if not needed by parents)
  • Own room
  • Weekends free
  • Language course twice a week

What do you like about being an au pair?

Helping the family, playing with the kids, and becoming apart of a family. Also, learning about a new culture.

What do you dislike about being an au pair?

I would prefer to go places more during the weekend with the family to explore the country. Sometimes the kids act like they are the kings and I have to do whatever they want. They don’t know the limits sometimes.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an au pair?

I think Au Pair World was a good website to use to find a family. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the family any questions you have.

Thank you Julie for sharing your experience!

If you missed last weeks post, you can find it here

Are you an au pair or want to be an au pair and have questions? Let me know!

XX Chynna

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A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Andrea

A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Andrea

Happy Monday! This weeks au pair is Andrea from Austria. Andrea is an au pair for a family with two kids here in Finland. Andrea’s time as an au pair is sadly over and she is now back in Austria. Here is her daily life as an au pair!

What is your daily life like?

I usually wake up around 8am and help the host mom get the kids ready for the day. The boy, 3 years old, goes to daycare two days a week and the girl, 6 years old, goes to school 9am-1pm everyday. I cooked dinner for the family every day. During the day I would clean the house and do the laundry. When the kids were home I would take care of them and sometimes I would put them to bed.

What is included in your contract?

  • Food
  • Own room in the house
  • Monthly pay
  • Friends who visited me could use the guesthouse 20m below their house

What do you like about being an au pair?

It was a great experience to see what a different culture is like. How their houses are different and also how they raise their children and solve their problems.

I also got a clear picture of the way of life in Finland. There is a big difference in how people live their lives in Finland and in Austria.

I loved traveling around for the few months I was here. Sometimes with friends who came to visit or with other au pairs.

What did you dislike about being an au pair?

I needed to spend a lot of energy on things in my daily life. It was also difficult to do what my host family expected because of the cultural and language difference.

Have you learned anything?

I learned a lot about working with children and how to combine this with housework. Also, I learned how to make friends in a different country.

 

Thank you Andrea for Sharing your experience!

If you missed last weeks post about me, you can find it here!

Are you an au pair and want to share your experience or want to be an au pair and have questions? Let me know! I would love to hear from you

XX Chynna

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A Day in the Life of an Au Pair: Chynna

This weeks au pair is me, Chynna! I am 24 (almost 25) from Indianapolis, IN. After graduating from IU this past May I made my way to Finland to be an au pair for 3 boys. The boys are 2, 4, and 7 years old and when I got here they didn’t speak any English! Now they are able to understand me a little and I can understand them also (for the most part). Here is my daily life as an au pair!

My day to day life

The “usual” schedule is that I will pick the boys up around 3/3:30pm and then head home to get dinner ready. This may change if there are soccer or hockey practices. I clean the main floor once a week and then once a month a do a thorough cleaning. I also usually cook dinner during the day so that it is ready when we get home from school. They boys get “hangry” if they are not fed!

What is included in my contract

  • Bus pass
  • Monthly pay
  • Food
  • Own room
  • Weekends free

What Do I Like About Being An Au Pair

I really like working with kids and also my family. They are really easy to get along with and they really try to make sure I a comfortable. Even today my host mom asked if there was anything that they could do better or I didn’t like. I really like this because it makes me feel like they really care. I also like being able to live in a different country. It has been really amazing getting to experience a different culture.

What Do You Not Like About Being An Au Pair

Sometimes it’s hard to communicate with the kids. It makes it hard when you want them to do something (or not) and they don’t know what you are saying. I think now they have a level of respect for me, so it has been easier. Doing the monthly cleaning has been a challenge also. Not that the actual cleaning is hard, just that when I clean it is hard to keep it clean so I worry that they family will think I haven’t actually cleaned.

What Have I Learned So Far

I have learned to be more patient and how parenting can differ culturally. This will be beneficial to me in my future classroom since I may have students who come from different countries. I have also learned how to live in a country where their native language is not English. Something as simple as going to the gym can be a process because you have to figure out where everything is without being able to read the signs.

My Advice For People Who Want To Au Pair

Always know what you are getting into. Make sure to look over your contract and be honest if you are okay with it or not. Don’t say yes to something that will not make you happy. I also think it is good to talk with the previous au pair if they have had one. This way you can get a better idea of the family and if they will make a good fit for you.

 

Are you an au pair? Would you like to share your story? Let me know!

Missed the last post? Read it here! Want to know how I became an au pair? Find out here!

Thanks for reading 🙂

xx Chynna

 

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Five Books to Cozy Up With This Fall

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. If You By Something I May Get a Payment, But All Thoughts Are My Own. 

Five Books to Cozy Up With This Fall

I honestly cannot think of anything better than reading a good book and drinking a warm drink, like a chia latte. Either in bed, by the fire, or at favorite cafe I think fall is the perfect time to catch up on reading. Here are five books to cozy up with this fall!

 

The Ninth Hour: A Novel by Alice McDermott

The books begins with the suicide of a young Irish Immigrant during the early 20th century. Even though his suicide is never spoken of, it affects many even after many years.

You can buy the book here for $17.68: The Ninth Hour: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I loved Ng’s book, Everything I Never Told You, so I am eager to read her latest release!

When friends of one of families living in the neighborhood try to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battles starts causing everyone to become involved!

You can buy this book here for $16.20:Little Fires Everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

 

If you are a fan of Practical Magic then get excited! The prequel to the book comes out October 10th. I may have already pre-ordered my copy 😉

You can get it here for $16.79:The Rules of Magic: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century by Jessica Bruder

Bruder documents the lives of a growing community, transient older Americans. With Social Security short, older Americans have formed a community of nomads.

You can buy this book here for $17.67:Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

Georgia 1930, a light-skinned and dark-skinned babies are born to a white sharecropper’s daughter, Elma. Despite the eyes of the town, Elma tries to raise her babies.

You can buy this book for here $18.27:The Twelve-Mile Straight: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What books are on your reading list this Fall?

XX Chynna

 

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